Week six has come to a close, meaning there’s only two weeks left of the regular season. For some teams, those two weeks are too long as they’d like the playoffs to get going right now. For others, those two weeks are the difference between making the playoffs, and watching from home. Here are your five takeaways.
Right now there’s been two teams all season who have been on-lock so consistently, that it’s lead to them boasting their undefeated record. Both Ohio State and Clemson have been undefeated and they’ve been doing it in different ways. Ohio State has been generating turnovers and have reaped the benefits of that tenacious defense. Their offense has been gifted some pretty short fields this season. Clemson’s defense is no slouch either, but they’ve been belting out major runs, as evidenced by halfback Mike Chadwick who racked up 239 yards on 31 carries this week. Quarterback Javon Mack hasn’t been asked to win games. Right now, the entire CFSL is salivating at two prospects. One, being the team to knock one of these titans off. Two, seeing the unstoppable force meet the immovable wall and learning which wins.
2) who’s in, who’s out?
Aside from Ohio State and Clemson, there’s been some playoff shakeup lately. Notre Dame and Washington battled it out, where the Fighting Irish found themselves poised for the three seed. They’ve already lost to Ohio State, who is coming off an overtime win against Oregon. Michigan’s playoff lives are still intact, but barely, and they’ll have a difficult stretch of Notre Dame and the Buckeyes consecutively. Confused yet? Well, buckle up for the SEC. Auburn fell to Texas in a crucial game, especially since Auburn lost to Miami earlier this season. Speaking of the Hurricanes, they got beaten in double overtime by TCU, so the SEC three seed is still up for grabs. Clemson and Texas have yet to square off and that could be a game to decide who gets a first-round bye at the rate we’re going. Florida and TCU are both left wandering at this juncture, though they could definitely ruin things for a team like Clemson or Miami.
3) TAKE THE FERRY
Speaking of that Auburn-Texas game, the Tigers saw quarterback Griffin Jelkic put up 300+ yards and had 52 pass attempts, of which he completed just 28. Part of the problem was Jelkic wanted his receiver Cross Ferry III deep, and Texas corner Terrence Top had that locked down. Top batted away three passes and picked one off. It was admirable by Jelkic, but his receiver wasn’t winning the 50/50 passes and that certainly hurt the Tigers. After all, Jelkic tried to hit Ferry deep earlier this season, in the Washington game. That pass was intercepted too. Add all that to the struggles that halfback Billy Carter has been having recently and…well, Auburn needs to figure things out before walking into Death Valley this week.
4) BREATHING ROOM
The CFSL reported an abundance of breathing trouble this week. Two overtime games took place, and both held the playoffs hostage if you will. Miami faced TCU, and the Hurricanes were in control of their own destiny, even into overtime. And but the turnovers and the fact that quarterback Jose Bueno got beat up, having to absorb nine sacks in that game. Three turnovers in the fourth quarter, one of which being a scoop and score by TCU safety Stokely Ferdinand led to the Horned Frogs eventual victory. Before that game even happened, though, we saw Ohio State and Oregon, fighting for the Big Ten Crown. This game also took two overtime periods to resolve a victor. Oregon halfback Jimmy Tickle racked up 140 yards, only to be outdone by Ohio State halfback Frost Carlson who tallied 178. It started as a defensive ballet before the offenses kicked it into high gear, and Ohio State safety Kevin Brackett had a pick six to boot. A lot of overtime games this season.
5) rise of the defenders
There was a point in time when CFSL fans were concerned every game was going to be an offensive tilt. Where the offenses would always rule the day. How could fans not think that when quarterback Ray Tatum knows how to put up points, and the two-headed monster of Washington could ruin you? It was a legitimate concern. But not this season. The defenses have risen up in a mighty way. Don’t believe me? Well, only two offenses this season are averaging more than 40 points per game and that’s Texas and Oregon. And Oregon, some may argue, is inflated due to their overtime excursions. Likewise, there are only three defenses are giving up an average of 40+ points a game, and two of those three teams just won their first game this week. Sure, the offense can have big plays, it happens, but defenses are generating turnovers at an alarming rate as well as plays for negative yards. This week alone, Clemson was the only team to reach 40, and two other teams eclipsed 30 in regulation (Ohio State and Oregon required overtime for that to be feasible). The defenses of the CFSL have upped the ante and now all offenses, including Texas, look mortal. It’s a now a question of, which defense cracks first. Ohio State or Clemson?
There’s two weeks of action in the regular season. Two weeks for the playoff picture to finalized and settled. That’s also two weeks for some favorites to get exposed, for the cracks in their armor to be found and shown to the world. Some teams may be out of the hunt, but that doesn’t mean they can’t ruin the hunt for other teams. Besides, cases have to be made for All-American and the yearly awards of course. People will chatter over favorites, but more important than that, the race to the National Title still looms.